TYPES OF HEARING AIDS
TYPES OF HEARING AIDS.
HOW TO CHOOSE A HEARING AID.
NEW GENERATION HEARING AIDS.
CARE AND MAINTANACE OF HEARING AIDS.
BINAURAL VS MONOAURAL HEARING AIDS.
WHAT DO HEARING AID CHANNELS AND BANDS MEAN.
WILL MY HEARING IMPROVE WITH A HEARING AID.
HEARING AID ACCESSORIES
Types of Hearing Aids Based on The Technology Used:
Analog hearing aids work using old analog technology that collects all the sounds in your environment and delivers them to your ears at increased volume with an amplifier. These models were not preferred because they are sometimes too loud and amplify both voice and noise, resulting in poor speech intelligibility.
Digital hearing aids have special chips that can differentially amplify individual sound frequencies based on the audiogram. You can optionally make speech louder while reducing noise. Digital hearing aids can also connect to phones, TVs, smartwatches and computers. There are also rechargeable models that are as convenient as possible.
HOW DO I CHOOSE THE RIGHT STYLE ?
Hearing aids come in all shapes and sizes, but the right choice depends on many factors, including :
2.Disabilities or dexterity issues.
3.Type and degree of your hearing loss.
4.Your lifestyle .
5.Disabilities or dexterity issues.
Our audiologists consider all these factors and help you pick the right hearing aid to suit your needs.
Is a minor hearing loss different from a major hearing loss?
The style of the hearing aid doesn't set the price, it doesn't limit the technical capabilities, and the technology inside the hearing aid changes the level from basic to premium.
TYPES OF HEARING AIDS
Behind the Ear (BTE):
This model is located behind the ears and has the shape of a small ring. Usually there are also volume buttons. The amplified sound is transmitted through the earmold to the ear canal to help hold the hearing aid in the ear. Because of their larger size, BTE models are often the only type of assistive device powerful enough to help people who are experiencing deep loss. It is also most often recommended for geriatric and pediatric clients.
Receiver in the Canal (RIC):
RIC hearing aids are the most widely used models in the world. It has most of the features, including Bluetooth connectivity and charging capabilities. This model is the perfect combination of size and amplification to compensate for a very small yet severe hearing loss. This is achieved by the fact that the receiving part, or "speaker," of the device is separated from the body of the device and placed directly in the ear canal and is connected by a thin wire. This makes RIC very discreet and easy to use.
In The Ear (ITE):
ITE is a custom-made hearing aid. In other words, it is custom made to fit the shape of your ear canal. Because the entire device is at the entrance to the ear canal, there are no components placed behind the ear. Despite its smaller size, the ITE can have directional microphone options and longer battery life than smaller discrete hearing aids. They cover moderate to severe losses.
In the Canal (ITC) :
Most of these hearing aids are located in the ear canal and only a small portion is visible at the entrance to the ear canal. They are slightly smaller than the ITE and also have volume control or program buttons. ITC is a great option for those who want a discreet hearing aid that can provide amplification up to severe hearing loss.
Completely in the Canal (CIC):
These hearing aids are almost invisible from the outside. It fits completely inside the user's ear canal, allowing natural localization signals provided by the outer ear. This is the best option for people who have moderate hearing loss and want to hide their hearing aids from other people's eyes.
Invisible in the Canal (IIC):
These are the smallest and most inconspicuous types of hearing aids because they are almost invisible. The entire device fits deep into the ear canal. It is the hearing aid of choice for people with mild to moderate hearing loss.
WHAT’S NEW IN HEARING AIDS?
Gone are the days when hearing aids were bulky and uncomfortable to wear. With digitization, hearing aid technology has advanced by leaps and bounds and has grown to accommodate technological advances in other areas of patients' lives, such as cell phone technology and artificial intelligence. Here are some of the latest features you can expect from hearing aids.
Wouldn't it be nice if I didn't have to fiddle with the little door of my hearing aid to change the battery every few days? Now with rechargeable hearing aids that come with a charging dock and a built-in lithium-ion battery (same as cell phones).
Apps and Smartphone compatible.
From basic apps that allow hearing aid wearers to control the volume and change programs, to more advanced apps that allow them to learn about their daily routine and fine-tune their hearing aid programs (including features such as noise cancellation and feedback),
Hearing aids cannot be fully programmed for the different listening conditions often encountered in everyday life, and a visit to the hospital for multiple fine-tuning may not be possible. In these cases, you can activate the remote fine-tuning feature so that the.
Home, school or work has a very different listening environment and you may find yourself changing the volume and noise reduction settings every time you visit these places. Geotagging allows your hearing aids to track you using GPS and automatically switch.
Find my Hearing Aid
Hearing aids are smaller than ever, and because of that, very easy to misplace. Through the find my hearing aid option, you will be able to locate your device using your phone whether it is in your house or elsewhere. This is a highly desirable feature for parents whose kids use hearing aids.
Binaural Sound Processing.
Our ears are designed to work together, and our brains gather this binaural information to get an idea of our environment. Binaural sound processing in hearing aids involves the intelligent exchange of key auditory information.
To make your listening more comfortable, your hearing aids are compatible with a variety of additional devices. Devices that stream sound directly from a TV, for example, are particularly popular with the elderly. For children.
7 TIPS TO CARE FOR YOUR HEARING AIDS.
Hearing aids provide the best sound quality on a regular basis and are reliable every day. However, they are also electronic devices and can sometimes malfunction or cause problems. However, there are a few steps you can take to ensure that your hearing aids perform at their best and last as long as possible.
1. Turn them off when not in use : Keep the battery door of hearing aids open when they are not in use so as to ensure you do not waste battery life. If your hearing aid is rechargeable, then use the switch off feature or place it in the charging dock as required.
2. Protect them from water : Most hearing aids are now waterproof, but it is best to avoid contact with water whenever possible. Remove your hearing aids when showering or when it is raining. Shake to dry and, if wet, immediately put into drying kit.
3. Watch out for wax : Earwax is formed in the ear as a natural defense mechanism. However, wax can sometimes clog the eartips of hearing aids and give the impression that they are losing volume. Clean the eartips frequently with the included brush or soft cloth/cotton.
4. Place them in the Dehumidifier/ Dry Kit once in a while : Sweat can damage your hearing aids, and in a tropical climate like ours, it's important to put your hearing aids in a dry kit to manage potentially harmful moisture.
5. Change the wax guard : Individual hearing aids (IIC, CIC, ITC, ITE, RIC) have a small filter that prevents earwax from entering the hearing aid. They are often clogged with wax. There are often multiple replacement wax tips in the box with your hearing aids, so they need to be replaced as wax builds up.
6. Change batteries when required : Leaving the battery in your hearing aid for an extended period of time can cause rust or leakage, which can damage your hearing aid. So do not leave old batteries unattended.
7. Bring your aid to us for routine servicing : You can bring your hearing aids to us as your car may need regular maintenance and inspections to make sure everything is ok. Although taking care of your hearing aids is great on your own, there can be some issues that may go unnoticed, but a professional eye can spot them and fix them.
By following these simple tips, you can make sure your hearing aids are always working at their best. If you feel your hearing aids are not clean, or the battery is draining too quickly, or performing poorly, take them to the Hearing Point. Then our experts will be happy to help you set it up properly.
A hearing aid is a device designed to improve hearing by making sound audible to a person with hearing loss. Hearing aids are classified as medical devices in most countries and regulated by their respective regulations. Small audio amplifiers such as the PSAP or other simple sound amplification systems cannot be sold as "hearing aids".
A hearing test provides an evaluation of the sensitivity of a person's sense of hearing and is most often performed by an audiologist using an audiometer. An audiometer is used to determine a person's hearing sensitivity at different frequencies. There are other hearing tests as well, e.g., Weber test and Rinne test.
A tinnitus Masker is an electronic hearing aid device that generates and emits broad-band or narrow-band noise at low levels, designed to mask the presence of tinnitus. Such masking noise is also referred to as white noise. For an individual suffering from both hearing loss and tinnitus, the masker and the hearing aid can operate together as one instrument.
Speech therapy is a treatment that can help improve communication skills. It’s sometimes called speech-language therapy. Many people think that speech therapy is only for kids with speech disorders that affect pronunciation. But it also helps kids who struggle with spoken and written language.
DO YOU REALLY NEED BINAURAL HEARING AIDS (TWO)?
That's the question many new hearing aid users ask, desperately hoping the answer is no. But could you imagine wearing glasses on one side only? Hearing aids are the same. If you have reduced hearing in both ears, it is essential to help both ears. While it may be difficult to overcome your initial hesitation, the naturalness of sound achieved by assisting both ears is impossible to achieve with just one hearing aid.
Its nature’s design
Humans are meant to hear with two ears.They exchange information with each other in order to properly orient the individual in the environment.Several processes that help us localize the sound, that is find out from which direction its coming is done through comparing their differing volumes or timing between the two ears.
Improves Speech Perception in Noise
Hearing in noise is greatly improved when there are two ears to support the load. There are certain biological processes called binaural (noise) suppression that help separate speech sounds from the background. These processes are compromised if one ear is left unassisted.
Important for your safety Outdoors.
Wearing two hearing aids is extremely important for your safety. Tasks like crossing the road or riding a two wheeler are extremely risky when you may not be able to detect the direction the other vehicles/sounds are coming from.
Single Ear has to work harder.
A single hearing aid will have to be much louder than if you use two. The ear has a process by which sounds heard by the two ears are combined and amplified in the auditory system called binaural summation. This is only possible with binaural hearing aids.
Important For Speech and Language Development in Children.
It is extremely important for children to learn how to listen to sounds in regards to where they are coming from and from how far away. This can only be done through binaural hearing aids to give them the best possible help to learn how to speak, and to adapt with hearing children.
Higher rates of user Satisfaction.
Research has shown that self reported patient satisfaction scores are much higher when both ears are aided. This is because binaural hearing is the natural way of hearing and the hearing aid user feels it is easier to transition, as it is more similar to how they experienced sound before hearing
Your Hearing Aid can perform better with Data from two ears.
Apart from this, most higher end hearing aids have advanced features that are available only through binaural fitting as the data from both sides is required for processing. Additionally streaming of phone calls, songs, music or even videos from streaming devices or mobile phones is a much more enjoyable experience when they are heard in both ears.
Remember, your hearing loss is always more noticeable than your hearing aids. Which means, reluctance to wear hearing aids on both ears due to a fear of people noticing the hearing aids only affects you in the long run. Our professionals at hearing point will happily demonstrate the benefits of using two hearing aids over one at our center, so you can experience the difference yourself.
WHAT ARE CHANNELS IN HEARING AIDS?
If you have spent any time researching hearing aids, you would have come across the wod “channel” several times. If not, you would have been told how the cost of the hearing aid is justified based on the number of channels it has. Here is a quick explanation of what they are and if they actually have an impact on your hearing.
What are channels?
A good analogy to understand channels, would be the resolution of a camera. Humans hear a wide range of frequencies (150-8000 Hz for speech), and depending on what kind of sound it is, some frequencies may be louder than others (Ex: Female voices have higher frequency sounds than male voices). When the hearing aid captures the sound from the environment, it collects all these frequencies at once, and this makes it difficult to make precise adjustments to the sound. To make this process easier, the hearing aid divides the sound into “channels.”
Why are channels needed?
Usually, hearing loss is not equal at all frequencies. For instance, in the audiogram below, the individual has more loss in higher frequencies compared to the lower ones. To compensate for the loss, the hearing aid will have to increase the loudness for high versus low frequency sounds differentially. This can only be done if the hearing aid segregates the incoming sound into different frequencies.
Why are there different numbers of channels?
The number of channels the hearing aid has, corresponds to how many times the incoming sound has been divided (Ex: A 3 channel hearing may divide it into Low, Mid and High frequency groups).
Does more channels mean more clarity?
This is not necessarily the case. Studies have shown that there is drastic improvement in speech understanding as we go from 1 upto 8 channels, after which there is only minimal improvement with increasing channels. Strictly speaking, there is no discernible benefit of having more than 24 channels.
Higher-end hearing Aids have more channels, doesn’t this mean they are better?
Yes, higher end or “Premium” category hearing aids usually have a higher number of channels, but the pricing of these aids is not due to the number of channels alone. Just like costlier mobile phones will have several features that are better like RAM, Memory, battery power, in addition to camera resolution, higher-end hearing aids have faster processing (which is important to compute the data from a higher number of channels), better noise reduction, more frequency specificity, connectivity, feedback cancellation and several other features to make them worth the price.
So, there is a lot of benefit to having a certain number of channels in your hearing aid, but that is not the only deciding factor in your hearing aid selection process. Our professionals at Hearing Point will ensure you experience different types of hearing aids with varying features to help you make an informed decision, so book your trial with us now!
WILL MY HEARING IMPROVE WITH A HEARING AID?
A frequent question we get from our patients is, “will my hearing go back to normal if I wear a hearing aid?” This question is even more common from parents whose children are hearing impaired. But unfortunately, the answer is no. There is some evidence that hearing aid use may slow down the degradation of your hearing, but it will not recover it. And this is no small thing, because making the most of your hearing and preserving what’s left has a direct influence on your quality of life. Here are some things your hearing aid can do for you:
Help you rejoin your social circle :
One of the biggest consequences of having hearing loss is that it isolates the individual from their surroundings. Using a hearing aid immediately allows you to be part of your own life again.
Prevent isolation of the elderly :
In modern times, as most young people live away from their parents due to their jobs, the elderly are often left alone in their homes. And hearing loss can greatly exacerbate the negative effects this can have on their mental health. Hearing aid use expands the scope of their abilities and helps them engage in the things they always hoped to in the golden years of their lives.
Delay cognitive decline (such as in Dementia) :
There is a well established link between untreated hearing loss and cognitive decline. Hearing loss disrupts the feedback loop of “hear-understand-respond” and puts great strain on the cognitive processes of the elderly. Delaying hearing aid use unduly hastens the decline.
Facilitate Speech and Language Development :
Often the only way you would learn how to speak a new language is if you hear it being spoken. This is how most humans develop language, and in some children this process is made more difficult with hearing loss. Only if a child hears, will they be able to speak. The best and fastest learning of language happens below five years of age, so to make the most of this crucial stage, make sure your child’s hearing is not left untreated.
Boost self confidence :
Always having a doubt about what was said, never being able to be part of a team discussion at work, dreading the moment when the teacher asks you a question and always having to ask for repetitions can have a devastating impact on one’s confidence. With today’s hearing aid technology, all this unnecessary mental and emotional strain can be avoided.
Rediscover Privacy :
Many in your family might have told you that you are speaking just a little bit too loud on the phone or in a private conversation. This is a common occurrence in those with hearing loss. And what if you want to watch your favorite movie on your phone or enjoy some of your favorite music with your earphones on? Hearing aids now are able to stream sounds from your phone (music, youtube, movies, netflix, video calls, phone calls, audiobooks and more…) to your ears directly, just like a bluetooth headset. Enjoy your privacy once again.
The benefits of using a hearing aid are better experienced than just read about. If you have ever wondered what the world would sound like with a hearing aid, or even better, if you have been convinced to buy one for yourself, please book an appointment with us right away and our professionals will fit you with a hearing aid that blends seamlessly into your life.
Hearing aids these days are incredibly advanced and have all sorts of features available in them. But, you may find that clever inclusion of some accessories will enhance your hearing experience. Due to the large number of accessories available you may be in a fix about what is right for you. Here is a list to help make this decision easier for you.
Accessories for Television:
- Streams Audio directly from the television to your hearing Device.
- Offers more clarity than listening directly.
- Control the TV volume for your comfort from your Hearing Aid.
- No discomfort for the family.
Examples: Resound TV Streamer, Phonak TV Connector.
Accessories for better Speech in Noise:
- Boon for those with Profound Loss.
- Teacher’s voice can be directly streamed to child’s ear.
- Settings can be controlled through mobile app.
- Very small and portable.
- Can be used during meetings and conferences by professionals.
Examples: Resound Multimic, Phonak Roger Pen.
Accessories for streaming calls or music:
- Allows streaming for lower end hearing aid models without Direct Streaming options.
- Small device that can be clipped to collar or pocket.
- Much better clarity for phone calls.
- Removes need to place phone behind the ear awkwardly.
Examples: Signia Streamline mic, Resound Phoneclip.
- Easy control of all major features.
- Helpful for older users who might find small controls on the aid difficult.
- Discreet, fits easily in hand or pocket.
Examples: Resound Remote Control, SIgnia MiniPocket.